KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI erased its morning gains as steep profit-taking took over in the hours leading up to Bank Negara’s announcement of its latest monetary policy decision.
Investors turned wary on Thursday as recession fears rose in US markets overnight, triggered by a weak retail data and hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials.
The FBM KLCI was down 0.51 points to 1,494.99 at midday, amid a broadly lower market with 399 decliners compared with 325 gainers.
Trading volume was 1.41 billion shares valued at RM856.36mil.
The local benchmark was led lower by Press Metal down 10 sen to RM5.25, CIMB shedding three sen to RM5.69, IOI falling four sen to RM3.90 and Sime Darby Plantation shedding four sen to RM4.36.
Technology stocks were also hit hard as they pared recent gains on a turnaround in sentiment over the global tech sector. MPI fell 24 sne to RM33, Vitrox slid 11 sen to RM7.75 and Khind dropped 11 sen to RM3.08
Consumer retail stocks remained buoyed by the year-end festivities including F&N up up 64 sen to RM23.92 and Heineken Malaysia gaining 32 sen to RM26.40.
Among actives, Velesto was up one sen to 19.5 sen, Dolphin was unchanged at 1.5 sen and Revenue rose five sen to 66.5 sen.
Regionally, sentiment was mixed as the China’s reopening and the Bank of Japan’s continued policy to keep lending costs low helped to shore up sentiment.
Japan’s Nikkei was the leading laggard, falling 1.5 sento 26,387. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.3% to 2,375 and China’s composite index added 0.1% to 3,228.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng managed to bounce back to near its reference rate at 21,672 after succumbing to selling pressure earlier in the day.
Australia’s ASX was up 0.6% to 7,435.-The Star